Imagining the Modern Kodak Instamatic Camera


All images by Daniel Kim. Used with permission.

Daniel Kim has been an industrial designer for many years now. Born in South Korea, he studied automotive design before flying to SoCal in the Spring of 2012. He grew up with a love for photography and with a fond memory of everything Kodak. The company is part of what inspired his rendition of the modern Instamatic–which I found on Behance.

But what’s even more amazing is how his creative vision blended Kodak’s brand and modern aesthetics.


Phoblographer: What made you want to create this Instamatic camera?


Daniel: Kodak was a landmark brand that I grew up with. They were such an iconic brand when it came to the world of photo. Like many families, my parents would create and keep photo albums of the many fun and nostalgic family gatherings, moments, and events, captured through Kodak’s single use Cameras. At that time, taking a photo really felt like capturing a moment. The feeling of the button, and the sound of the shutter, all were great details that went into capturing those moments. The photos in my parent’s album that was diligently saved over the years, feel like real moments that I can re-experience today. And it was actually looking through those old photos where I gained my inspiration to design the New Instamatic.

Taking photos with many of the cameras today, is just that – simply taking a photo. I wanted to revisit the idea and experience of taking photos, and changing them into capturing moments.


Phoblographer: So talk to us about the creative vision for this? What were you inspired by and what creatively speaking dictated the decisions you made when designing the looks, interface, and the entire project for the camera? It looks very Leica and Apple-like.

Daniel: Kodak has such a huge lineage, and a very rich history. I really wanted to highlight that aspect and move the brand forward with a retro-futuristic look, emphasizing their classic charm, while being relevant in today’s market through careful application of new emerging technological advancements. I was strongly inspired by the classic Instamatic models in order to bring that strong minimalistic design philosophy that Kodak had in the past.


Moreover, by emerging the image of past successful Kodak models like the 77x, applied with modern finishing materials, I was able to achieve both a retro yet futuristic looking product. With attention to great detail of past features such as controls and knobs, it was pertinent to apply the same formula to the redesign of the camera, in order inherit the Kodak minimalistic language.

Phoblographer: You, as a designer, also probably did this project with the entire campaign marketing idea in mind. So with that said, has any of this helped you to get more work as a designer?


Daniel: It goes without saying that designers should be mindful of marketing a product, especially in the consumer culture we live in today. Designing a beautiful product is important, but it should also be something that fulfills a need, for both the brand and its users. This project has definitely helped me grow as designer. A number of designers who I have worked with in the past have commented on the project that it showcases multiple facets and layers as a designer who can not only design but also research and execute strategy.

Designing the New Instamatic has definitely turned heads gaining interests and picking up momentum for me as a designer.


Phoblogrpaher: This was obviously more of a personal project more than anything. But how amazed would you be if something like this actually came and hit the market?

Daniel: I personally believe that Instamatic can manifest a new trend in the analogue electronic market. There are already a great number of analogue electronics out on the market; however, many of those products focus on specific markets. Moreover, these days, for better or worse, the high tech trend is booming keeping people to stay focused on tomorrow and what’s ahead. Very seldom will there be successful products on the market that take its users back into a nostalgic past. Instamatic can be the liaison to harboring its users back to those happy times of capturing beautiful moments.






Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.